Youth soccer players from Plano, Terrell, Tyler, Longview, Nacogdoches, Palestine as well as Jacksonville, no doubt, made memories on June 14 at the annual Jacksonville Soccer Association (JSA) Tomato Fest 4X4 Tournament.
Great individual and team performances, many shared by supportive family and friends that converged upon the well-known Tomato Bowl in downtown Jacksonville on the warm summer day, will not soon be forgotten.
That day was an extra special one for Tristen Stickle, too.
Stickle, a 9-year-old, who attends Eastside Elementary in Jacksonville, is not able to play competitive soccer due to a visual impairment, but he didn't let that prevent him from having an absolute blast.
Stickle served as the master of ceremony for the Mascot Challenge, a popular event that pits various mascots representing local businesses and organizations, against one another in a friendly and colorful competition.
“Tristen did an outstanding job announcing all seven mascot with no microphone and in front of a crowd of 150-200 cheering fans,” Jose “Pepe” Carmona, vice president of the JSA and tournament director said. “Most people are shy to speak to a crowd, but not Tristen; he did a great job.”
From Boost Mobile's “Mr. Android, to the Spooktacular Bull Bash's “Bull” to Super Gallo's “Rooster”, Stickle introduced each with a vocal flair of a true champion, as he did in welcoming in PAACO Automotive's “Dora the Explorer”, Little Caesar Pizza's “Mr. Caesar” and Jacksonville's own “Juicy Lucy”.
“It was cool and fun, and I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the JSA (Mascot) Challenge,” said Stickle.
Stickle, who is an avid sports fan, is the son of Lisa and Shawn Stickle of Jacksonville.
“He was so excited for this opportunity; it really made his day,” Lisa Stickle said.